Western Pennsylvania Old Stone Iron Furnaces
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Welcome to the wonderful world of Old Stone Iron Furnaces of WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA.
Our web site has recently been updated to simplify viewing and operation. We now have a separate web page for each county. The location information has been combined with the general information on the one page. You can now click to any furnace or county you wish with a minimum of scrolling. We would apreciate comments on the new format.

  Iron Furnace
California Furnace
Westmoreland County

Our site for Iron Furnace Information will concentrate primarily on Western Pennsylvania Iron Furnaces that were in operation from as early as the late 1700's to well into the 1850's and beyond. Our purpose is not to focus on the historical record of this early iron industry, but to:
1. Identify the location of these lost treasures.
2. Photograph these sites.
3. Obtain GPS coordinate for latitude and longitude.
4. Lead others to find the pure joy of finding these furnaces for themselves, and
     enjoy the hiking and exploration required to do so.
5. Provide limited historical information that has been researched by others.
6. Share with others, wherever possible, the information we may have.
7. Encourage preservation or restoration of stone iron furnaces.
Many changes in the directions and GPS coordinates have recently been made for furnaces in most of the Western Pennsylvania counties. This will simplify the search for these sites. We encourage others to share information on the locations and directions to furnaces they have visited and for which we have limited information. . Please recognize that many of the directions given by Sharp and Thomas in the 1960's may be obsolete at this date and until all sites have been recently visited and directions confirmed, it is wise to check with us in advance before your visit.
In order to accomplish the task of defining directions to each of the Western Pennsylvania furnaces we have attempted to develope a set of accurate current directions to each location along with the approximate latitude and longitude. This information was obtained from a combination of sources, shown below, including Sharp and Thomas, personal visitations by Richard Parks and other contributors, Pennsylvania County maps by Thomas, County maps by PENNDOT, US Dept. of Interior Geological survey maps, and current DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer. The latter three documents have latitude and longitude coordinates. The location coordinates and directions to most of the furnaces, have been verified using on-site GPS readings and waypoints. We acknowledge the help of several contributors. As new GPS coordinates are confirmed they will be acknowledged and added to the location pages.
Describing a furnace: When visiting any of the county web pages
The notation (P) means we have photographed this furnace.
The notation (V) means we have visited this site,
The notation (s&t) indicates the material preceding is from our source Sharp and Thomas
Initials in the text within parentheses indicates the material preceding is from a source identified by those initials.
Initials next to a location will reference a contributor as shown in our source list below.

Our Sources
We would like to acknowledge the help received from many fine sources including:
Our primary and oldest source for name, description and location information is A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces in Wesren Pennsylvania, by Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas and published by the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, 1964 and 1966.
Revisions to directions and furnace conditions as a result of site visitations in the 1977-1981, 1994, 2001, 2003 and 2004 by Richard R. Parks(rp or rrp), and in 2003 and 2004 by our other contributors listed below. Email: Richard Parks
Pennsylvania Iron Furnace Sourcebook by Raymond A. Washlaski, Web Master(rw) & Ryan P. Washlaski(rw)
Ray's Web Site
Great Pictures and Historical Information by John Markiel(jm) at John's Web Site
Save the Iron Furnace Foundation Blogspot by Randy Biller(rb) at Randy's Foundation Blog Spot
Save the Iron Furnace Foundation Links by Randy Biller(rb) at Randy's Foundation Web Site
Pennsylvania County Maps in the Pennsylvania County Maps and Recreation Guide, published by Thomas Publications-Hrtjes Center, Kaukauna WI 54130. Probably 1970's.
United States Department of Interior Geological Survey Topo Maps Vintage 1960's and later.
DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer 2001 edition for State of Pennsylvania.
Exploring Venango County prepared for the Venango County Bicentennial Commision, 1976.
PENDOT County General Highway Maps
A Concise History of the Iron Manufacture of the American Colonies up to the Revolution and of Pennsylvania until the Present Time. John B. Pearse, 1876, reprint 1970.(jp)
Special County Sources are listed under each county.
Special acknowledgments
to Stephen Markey(sm), Ian Straffin(is), Patricia Hom(ph), Dan or Chris Dundon(dd), Karl Mouck(km), Mike McKenzie(mm), Paul Burrows(pb), Hank Edenborn(he), Frank Mayuric(fm) and many others for their contributions. (Initials in parentheses represent source identification).
To contact our contributors please make a request by Email to: Richard Parks

We would be pleased to send you directions to reach any specific furnace
not currently on our location pages.
Please recognize the fact that roads, road designations, property ownership, and restrictions often change.

Your source for Western Pennsylvania Iron Furnace Information

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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, November 2007